Dutch term – Vroedvrouw

Newborn baby presented to the father

A vroedvrouw was a midwife. There were also vroedmeesters, doctors specialized in helping women deliver children. The midwife was responsible for more than just seeing the mother and the child safely through the birth. In the case of an unwed mother, she was also urged to press the mother into revealing the name of the father of her child. It … [Read more...]

How to find the father of an illegitimate child

Mother with baby and child

In most families, sooner or later you will encounter a child born to an unwed mother. Finding the fathers of these 'illegitimate' children can be difficult, but not necessarily impossible. I've researched dozens of these cases, both in my own tree and for clients. In four cases, I have been able to prove who the father was. In two other cases, I … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Look in the margins of birth records

Birth record with note in the margin

The margins of birth records sometimes contain interesting information. For example, if the child was born out of wedlock, and the mother later married and the husband recognized the child as his, this will be recorded in the margin of the birth record. So don't rely on an index, but always check the original document to see what information may be … [Read more...]

Using birth records (geboorteaktes) to find your Dutch ancestors

Birth record with note in the margin

Birth records (Dutch: geboorteakte) are a part of the civil registration and were kept since 1811 (or slightly earlier for some parts of the Netherlands). A birth record lists the following data: Place, date and time of birth Names of parents Name, profession and age of the one registering the birth (often the father) Names, profession … [Read more...]